Years ago, I remember seeing the sound stage for U2’s Achtung Baby Tour. The thing was just massive. Behind the band, there was an Orwellian-like screen flashing the words, “Call Your Mother.” I remember thinking how funny it was that in the middle of a show, with so many people enjoying the music, that that message could mean something to almost everyone there.
I’m all about simple messages (Save your money!). To me they carry the most impact; the fewer words the better.
I do call my Mother pretty much every day. She’s the master at keeping me real. And while she doesn’t bug me anymore about homework or making my bed, she does give me a hard time about being the CEO of a bank.
As Mother’s do, she was talking to her hairdresser recently about her son, me. The conversation eventually turned to finances. She has been going to the same hairdresser forever and he probably knows more about me than I do.
Recently he confided in her that like many Canadians he was concerned about what he was going to do when he couldn’t physically work. He was a renter and had little savings. He’d been thinking he needed to save more and pay off his debt, but other things seemed to take priority.
Unknown to my Mom, her hairdresser opened up an ING DIRECT account years back and made the savings automatic. He was able to build a healthy downpayment and bought a home. He also chose ING DIRECT for his mortgage, getting for himself our “unmortgage” and regularly listened to our advice about paying off your mortgage faster. After several disciplined years he is now a few mortgage payments away from owning his home – 100% mortgage free!
Of course, my Mom was ecstatic – not so much that her son’s work, passion and mission of saving had filtered down to her hairdresser, but that her hairdresser was now much closer to a stress-free retirement and that he was so much happier about his future.
The beauty of being a customer service-focused business is that people aren’t shy about giving us feedback. I get customer email on a regular basis, and I’m always happy to learn how our team’s help and guidance have helped people live a healthy financial lifestyle.
One of these emails came recently from a customer who’s own Mom had unfortunately passed away. For her, it meant traveling to another province to take care of things. Over the years she’d slowly taken our advice about making savings automatic by making monthly automatic contributions to her savings account. When the unfortunate time came for her to take care of her Mom, she was able to do so and realized at that moment that things happen and savings is the only insurance policy you can rely on to bounce through tougher times.
As you can see I have always been very proud of my Mom, and I am truly humbled that ING DIRECT’s mission to “Give the Power of Saving to all Canadians” is making a difference for all kinds of people – something to think about as RRSP season draws to a close.